Tag Archives: advertising

Because women are like dumb animals really

9 Jun


I’m not going to tell you where the Stepford-wife button is hidden on a woman; I wouldn’t want to deprive these great advertisers of your custom! But at last we can confirm that women are indeed unthinking breeding dolls who you can trick into sleeping with you if you just know the technique to dial into their dumb animal brains. I mean if you just use that seduction technique, they have to do it. Or if you find that blonde and do that one thing? Man, she’ll be like an alligator that you’ve turned on its back. And if they’re not just completely running on animal instinct after you do that thing the ad says—and I mean maybe you’re not the kind of guy who wants his woman to talk—they’ll beg to be your girlfriend, and you can just pick the hottest one!


Shopping Hazards

15 Aug

Classified Ads are Often Nuts

1. Plague bike


This guy is selling his bike with the romantic notion of being able to ride to places with dead cheetahs AND dead skunks. Also the cheetah has been lightly shaved.

2. Demon bike


This guy’s bicycle sounds demon possessed. I imagine it in the garage with its gears spontaneously clattering away, and things breaking off of it without warning…

3. Bile bike


This guy has a bilecycle. I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t think I want it. I like how he had two stabs at the word ‘bicycle’ without success.

Fashion. Why.

1. Choose your battles


This guy’s girlfriend has obviously forced him to wear this hideous garbage, because he clearly looks miffed and a bit embarrassed (and totally whipped), and she looks cross but slightly exhilarated, like she just won something. “You will stand here for this photo, or so help me…”

2. Someone has to pay


Just so we’re clear, the shirt is emblazoned with a HUGE shiny decal that says, ‘Young, Reckless, Wild, and Awesome’. Because you shop at the mall. Right. Even the mannequin can’t believe he has to wear this.

If you have to praise yourself on your own t-shirt, especially using some drunk 50-year-old clothes-builder’s idea of how young people hope to be seen, then you’re probably the opposite, and you deserved it when you were bullied as a child.

3. Wow you look like the man of my dreams


This mannequin reminds me of someone that I usually associate with the nightmare of clothes shopping.

I can't quite put my finger on who...

I can’t quite put my finger on who…

Child’s Play

1. Costume that is everything

My kid wants a tiger birthday-party this year, so we’re on the lookout for tiger dress-up outfits.

tiger chewie

This costume-hire Website must have some interesting employees.

Boss: ‘Describe a tiger.’

Designer: ‘It’s really long-haired, and looks like a novelty brown shag rug that’s been given peroxided highlights all over.’

Boss: ‘Describe Chewbacca.’

Designer: ‘He’s really long-haired, and looks like a novelty brown shag rug that’s been given peroxided highlights all over.’

Boss: ‘Wonderful! How about werewolf?’

Designer: ‘It’s smooth and orange with black stripes. Looks like a cat.’


Pictured left: Zebra. Pictured right: George W Bush

2. Sapiential


Happy study wisdom pullulate.

3. Use your Illusion


Here’s your stupid fairytale carriage, Kid, but you’re living in an illusion state.

4. Butt injection baby


This baby laughs when you push its stomach and cries when you inject things into its rectum.

More Eastern Knockoffs

1. Michelle-Pfeiffer Man


2. Flower story


3. Plainboy


4. Boo!


Asking for it, VW

14 Apr

VW has recently launched their ‘One Thing’ ad campaign in which they invite viewers to identify the one person that they would kiss for life, if they could choose only one. I saw it once on TV and thought it must be a silly mistake, but it was on again just now. I see they also have an international website devoted to it:

With a very informative poll

With a very informative poll

Believe it or not, their objective has not been merely to discover that a small majority consider ‘My Wife’ to be the answer to that question (and I don’t give VW permission to let others kiss my wife in any case). Rather, they use it as an introduction to the equally significant question: ‘If you could only drive one car for the rest of your life, which would it be?’

Now here’s where I have problems with this particular strategy. Chevrolet made the same mistake in a recent ad for one of their soulless sedans in which they claimed that the driver of said vehicle was now driving ‘the car of his dreams’. A Chevrolet? All I got out of that ad was that its protagonist must have woken up in tears every morning, such was the quality of his dreams.

And so it is with VW’s effort. If they ask me which car I’d choose if I could have only one for the rest of my life, what are the odds I’m going to choose a Golf? Almost nil, unless I have crippling imagination failure. They’re solid little all-rounders, but my first choice? Forever?

All such ads do is invite me to think of a hundred cars that I’d rather have instead of theirs, and I can’t imagine how it would have any other effect even on viewers less cynical than I.

Well done, Marketing Team.

7 more of the Worst Things in the World (Pt 2)

18 Nov

I seem to be the sad cat-lady of pet hates. I certainly have a lot of them. My dingy flat is metaphorically thick with the stench of little pet-hate droppings. I wrote previously with seven blood-boiling / cringe-inducing monstrosities of modern life, and here are seven more.

8. Spamvertising

There’s a social contract that says advertisers are allowed to advertise to me, as long as they’re paying for the episode of 30 Rock they’re interrupting, or my favourite website, or my Empire magazine.

Marketing Suit, I’m going to keep punching you in the head. Please text ‘stop’ to opt out.

For some years now, they’ve grown tired of paying for things, so they started sending text messages warning that they’re going to telemarket to me, and I must use my own money to text ‘stop’ to opt out. That was the worst, until one day…

I got a call on the freeway, during rushhour, which I had to pull over to receive. It was a pre-recorded advertisement — like the ones that make listening to the radio unbearable — that they deliberately phoned in to me. It’s almost as though someone imagined I might rejoice to be told of their goods and services. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but they’ve simultaneously put a telemarketing phone-jockey out of a job and found a way to make that a bad thing.

9. Minority Report ripoff advertisements

Sorry, Tom. Kate’s gone. Really, someone should have seen it coming.

Minority Report was a pretty good movie, but as more observant people have pointed out, it’s futuristic technology is fairly stupid. They have giant flash drives and no networking capability whatsoever. Still, for all its utter pointlessness, everyone thinks that Tom Cruise’s holographic Wii Fit screen is the coolest thing ever. By ‘everyone’, I mean ‘people advertising financial services’.

That’s why ad men are called ‘creatives’, Baby.

If I have to watch another TV ad in which the company’s hipness and advancedness is communicated by some guy flinging around a computer animation, I think I’ll have to… to… uh…

Tell them that touch screens are widely available?

That we have wireless capabilities now?

That it’s clearly better that we don’t all have to show everyone in the building what we are / are not working on?

10. TV programmes that are entirely about WAGs and c-list celebrities having lunch / talking about sex / talking about other how many other celebrities are their friends / talking about how hard it is to make friends in LA.

I wandered onto the television the other day and came across a reality show so incredibly stupid that would insult the intelligence of  hamsters and Kardashians. The conversation I saw went something — in all seriousness — like this:
British WAG type: “I’m going to have coffee with MY FRIEND Sarah.”

Disinterested American male set-dressing: “… mm-hmm… Sarah who?”

WAG (Absolutely horrified that he didn’t assume it’s THE Sarah): MY FRIEND Sarah Jessica Parker!

We read celebrity pages and watch reality shows about celebrities because we assume their fame is directly proportional to the interestingness of their lives. Clearly. It. Isn’t.

This was not the person who said those stupid things, but she’s on some American Housewife type thing, and I’m told her name is Lisa Vanderpump. Who wouldn’t use any excuse to exploit that?

11. Luxury cars painted white

You paint cars white because it’s cheaper than metallic paint. There is no other reason. I know you’re getting ready to say that you’d paint a car white because you like white, and you are inspired by its purity or some nonsense. But your ignorance isn’t welcome here, thank you. Besides there’s nothing pure about these cars; these are engineering pornography, and obscenely expensive. For that reason, if you’re already splurged too many hundreds of thousands on em, why would you hold back the couple of grand needed to make them gorgeous? I defy anyone to tell me that the white options of these cars makes them look like anything but grandiose advertisements for aesthetic retardation and crippling indecision:

Same car

A white Ferrari? You know, you’re right. Save the extra few grand for therapy.

12. More Bad Drivers

I’m aware that everyone thinks that everyone else should learn to drive just like they do, and the world would be a better place, blah, blah, etc. And even though that’s true of me, I shouldn’t keep harping on about it. So very briefly, here are two or three things that you should really stop doing.


1. Has it ever happened to you that there’s a huge gap behind you and a tiny one in front of you, and a car from a side road decides that it simply can’t wait and must make a bid for the tiny space in front? And then they make you break to avoid an accident? It’s happened to me plenty.

And I don’t mind it that much. I can live with that. People are in a hurry. Be impertinently assertive if you must. What really gets me is when said person in impossibly great hurry never speeds up. They’ve pushed in and tripped me up — they’ve simply had to get in ahead — but with no ambitions of getting anywhere in reasonable time; just to drive 40. Don’t do that, you.

2. You know how turning across a busy intersection usually forces you to wait for your light to go orange so that the oncoming traffic stops, and you can hurry across just before the side lanes open? And then the oncoming traffic that should stop just keeps pushing through even on the red, because no one wants to be the first guy not to make it through the intersection? And how that leaves you stranded in front of the side lanes? That.

3. Have you ever noticed that when approaching speed bumps or train crossings, some drivers have to cross them like they’re fording a river? As though they would take them at a complete stop if it were physically possible? As though their suspension is made of crystal chandeliers? I’ve nearly rear-ended a lot of those. Stop it, you guys.

13. Comedies with Guys in Fat Drag

There can be no forgiveness.

14. Muscle Tops

Muscle tops are great. If God blessed you with mesomorphness in your youth then flaunt away all that muscle tone before it turns to flab in your forties. T-shirts that are cut tight to fit that profile look great too. Well done, everyone.

By why, Oh Why, must every t-shirt manufacturer in the world change it’s standard pattern to the armpit-hugging type?

I like roomy, airy t-shirts that don’t hug my scholarly body. Why must it now always be this:

and this

and this?

Do you see, Ashley Judd?



I feel that I should also give special mention to:

a. Toilets that spin their contents around the bowl without ever showing them the trapdoor. Test your prototypes, people!

b. Jugs that drip or trickle more of their contents down their sides than out their spouts. As long as it looks like the real thing eh?

c. Car hub-caps / wheel covers that are made to look like they’re part of the wheel (even sporting fake bolts) but which are held on by a spring wire. That loosens over time. Sending little plastic discs scuttling into oncoming traffic. As long as it looks good coming off the showroom floor, who cares about next year, eh?

Please refer to point #8 for the proper treatment for designers of these objects.

You’re an idiot. My dog food says so.

11 May

Most of us world-weary media-saturated types would probably consider ourselves above being manipulated by ads. We know they’re lying, and we know they think we’re idiots, and actually we’re much better than all that. You’re wrong. We’re idiots.

Consider the world of dog food. Not something that is especially cut-throat (unless you’re one of the target animals, which is what? Uh… rats, the wobbly bits under a chicken’s beak, and cow lips?). Nevertheless, they work hard at making you believe all sorts of nonsense without you realising it. For example, have you noticed that it’s a long time since they last called it ‘dog food’?

You’ll notice on the above tins that nowhere does it say, ‘Dog food’. You’ll struggle to find one that does. That’s because you wouldn’t like to be fed indiscriminate ‘people food’, so why would you treat your pet that way? (Hint: pets can’t read).

But of course it gets worse. Look at that tin of Husky. It is ‘Beef, Pasta, and Veg Flavour’; oh and it’s ‘Home Style‘. What they’re trying to conjour up is an image of a hearty, balanced meal around grandmamma’s dinner table, home cooked and healthsome; sharing a hot cuppa something with family; good times with good food. Those however are people pictures. Your dog doesn’t have a grandmamma that he visits, he doesn’t eat steak and veggies with the kids, and he regularly — given half a chance — would eat human faeces and unidentifiable grey slime out of the gutter (true stories from real dog walkies).

That Petley’s can is no better. In muted understatement, they claim that this food is to be associated with the words ‘Supreme Gourmet’. That’s right. They got the world’s most highly trained, highly reputed chefs to lovingly craft a tantalising côte d’agneau with spearmint and dark chocolate jus, all for your little poochiekins. And all they came up with was:

You can hear the dying screams of Keith Floyd as you open every can.

It is exactly the same garbage they’ve been scraping off of the floor of the abattoir for decades. Your dog still prefers it to eating faeces 7 out of 10 times, as he always has. All that effort on the tin wrapper exists to make you think that you’re giving Bozo the best.

But here’s the kicker. Even knowing all of this — even if they took two cans from the same conveyor belt — if they stuck that Husky label on the one, and a plain label that says ‘Dog Food’ on the other, you’d still buy the Husky one every time, even, I’ll bet, for a few bucks more. Heck, I would.

So yes, we watch ads with our ‘eyes open’. We know they’re trying to fool the idiots among us. We know their tricks. And yet we go for it every time. Fool me once, shame on you, as they say…